Crews search in New Mexico for missing ex-White House chef

Taos (US), Jun 20: Authorities again searched by air and ground in a rugged New Mexico mountain range for a former White House chef reported missing on a solo hike.

New Mexico State Police said they still have no leads yet on Walter Scheib, the White House chef for 11 years under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush. Scheib, 61, recently moved from Florida to New Mexico and reportedly went for a hike last Saturday in the mountains near the Taos Ski Valley.

White House

His girlfriend reported him missing, and police found his car Tuesday parked at the Yerba Canyon trailhead. Authorities were using search-and-rescue dogs and helicopters to view areas too rough and remote to reach on foot.

The US Air Force and the New Mexico National Guard were assisting in the search. "We will continue searching until all resources are leads are exhausted," said Sgt Elizabeth Armijo, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman. Scheib, who graduated from New York's Culinary Institute of America in 1979 and later worked at grand hotels in Florida and West Virginia, became White House executive chef in April 1994 when First Lady Hillary Clinton hired him.

He was in charge of a full-time staff of five and oversaw a part-time staff of 20. Scheib was known for his creation of a distinctly American cuisine for the White House and was responsible for preparing everything from First Family meals to formal State Dinners.

His creations were served to many world leaders including Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Vicente Fox, Nelson Mandela and Boris Yeltsin. Scheib left the White House in 2005 when Laura Bush let him go.

He became a food consultant and speaker and appeared on the Food Network's "Iron Chef" show in 2006. Scheib also wrote a book about his experiences entitled "White House Chef: Eleven Years, Two Presidents, One Kitchen." It was published in 2007. 


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